He’s always wanted to do things no other coaches have done and it appears Steve Spurrier has accomplished that again. Spurrier reportedly told his Gamecock football team Monday night that he was retiring immediately and an announcement would be coming as early as Tuesday. South Carolina is expected to name either G.A. Mangus or Shawn Elliott, both Spurrier assistants, as the interim head coach.
Spurrier has always said he would walk away when he lost his effectiveness and if he does retire at this point, he’s true to his work. The Gamecocks have been a disappointment this year after losing their starting quarterback. Spurrier has had trouble settling on a replacement, using Perry Orth, (from Fletcher HS in Jax Beach) and others without much success. South Carolina is 2-4 overall and 0-4 in the SEC after their loss to LSU last Saturday.
It’s not unusual for Spurrier to walk away from a job. He did the same in Washington after two years as the Redskins Head Coach. He reportedly left $15 million in guaranteed money behind and said recently, “I wanted to walk away from more money than any coach had ever left behind. I wanted to do something nobody had ever done.” Steve had no success in the NFL either as a player or as a coach. He was the quarterback on the winless Tampa Bay Bucs team of 1976. Spurrier was the third pick overall of the ’67 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49’ers and played for them for nine years before being traded to the Bucs for his final year. His two-year tenure in Washington as the Redskins Head Coach finished with a 12-20 record and Spurrier saying the “team needs new leadership.” In truth, he didn’t have any say in who would play in Washington under owner Dan Snyder and when Snyder released former Gator Danny Wuerffel before the 2003 season, figured if he “couldn’t pick who the backup quarterback was, it was time to go.”
But his time in college football was legendary. At Florida from 1964-1966 he won the Heisman Trophy and the SEC Player of the Year. He was the ACC Coach of the year at Duke in 1988 and 89. He won the same honor in the SEC five times with Florida and South Carolina. He’s won more games at both schools than any other coach. He won a National Championship at Florida and took teams to 21 bowl games. His overall record as a coach is 228-89-2. But he’s lost eight of his last nine SEC games.
Former Gator quarterback and current assistant at South Carolina G.A Mangus is one of the candidates to be the interim coach for the Gamecocks.
Spurrier turned 70 this past April and always said he wasn’t interested in coaching much past 60. “I thought I’d travel a bit move to the beach (he has a home in Crescent Beach) and play some golf. But that wasn’t such a good plan at the time.”
Perhaps it is now for the ‘Ole Ball Coach.